Make the most of your staycation with this ultimate picnic menu

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Make the most of your staycation with this ultimate picnic menu

Whether it’s on the beach or in the park, there’s no better way to make the most of summertime than by enjoying a picnic lunch. Not all picnics were created equal, however, and we’ve got some tips to make yours the best one yet.

Finger foods

Let’s start with the obvious. You’ve got to have things you can easily eat with fingers. Sure, you could make like mom used to and serve boiled eggs or you could go one step further and make Scotch eggs. Scotch eggs are the anomaly that actually keep well long after they’ve come out of the fryer, making them excellent picnic foods. Just make sure you bring along a small container of mustard for dipping. If you’re looking for something more kid-friendly, consider making meatballs. The recipe below combines the meatballs and raita in a roti, which you could serve in parts at your picnic.

Get the recipe for Scotch eggs here.

Get the recipe for lamb frikkadels here.

Wrapped up and ready to roll

Wraps really are the ultimate on-the-go food, perfect for all kinds of lunches al fresco. Depending on how hands-on you feel like being at the picnic, you could either prepare all the components separately and assemble once there, or just have them rolled and ready to go. This stir-fry wrap will keep well if you roll it tightly in cling film until ready to eat or works deconstructed, too. If you like the idea of a wrap but want to mix it up, crystal summer rolls with rice paper, make a nice fresh addition – just keep them in the cooler part of your picnic basket. We love this smoked salmon version, but you could really use any fillings of your choosing.
Get the recipe for Asian-style crunchy stir-fry wrap here.

smoked salmon crystal summer rolls
Get the recipe for smoked salmon crystal summer rolls here.

Clever pies

A large pie is certainly not going to travel well – nor is it going to be easy to eat on a picnic blanket. Hand pies, or individual pies, however, will travel well and are perfect for picnics. Khanya’s cheese-and-onion pies are neatly portioned and will taste as good at room temperature as they do hot. Similarly, these Cornish pasties will win everyone over.
cheese-and-onion-pieGet the recipe for cheese-and-onion pies here.

handmade Cornish pastiesGet the recipe for handmade Cornish pasties here.

Think beyond the hummus

Look, hummus will forever and always have a place in our hearts (and our picnic baskets) but for those times you want something a little different, we have some ideas. In place of hummus, something like a roast white bean dip will tick all the same boxes without getting boring. You could also make your own smoked mackerel (or any smoked fish of your choice) dip – equally perfect for dipping crackers and crudites into.
Get the recipe for roast white bean dip here.

Get the recipe for smoked mackerel and cream cheese dip here.

Jess Spiro Article by: Jess Spiro

Jess Spiro is a freelance food writer, chef and restaurant critic based in Cape Town, who can often be found in search of the next great plate of food. Follow her on Instagram @jess_spiro to see what she's eating.

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